My child does not like school: what should I do?

Why does my child not like school?

School. An ancestral institution in which all children who have come of age keep lasting memories, whether they are good or bad. Today, nearly 12 million children attend school. And in some, it is not uncommon to observe a school blockage which can affect all levels from kindergarten to high school caused by multiple factors. Marie Costa lists ten of them:

  • When he is small, it is not impossible for the child to live with difficulty with the simple idea of ​​being separated from his parents, especially in kindergarten where there is a lot of crying. For example, the distance to the parental home creates uncertainty for the toddler.
  • The child may have difficulty adapting to a change such as a new school, a change in level, new teachers. This can affect the well-being of students in the school.
  • It is also possible that the child does not have a friend or that he has difficulty reaching and integrating his comrades. He may just be too fearless causing others to inadvertently run away.
  • Lack of self-confidence is one of the causes of school dislike. Indeed, the fear of being criticized, failing a test or an exam may seem unbearable to some students.
  • School can seem limiting and the days are real marathons for some. However, there are children who cannot sit for long and stay focused. They need to move more than others.
  • Learning difficulties can make school a real test for those involved. For example, many children who go to school have developed dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia, as well as neurobiological disorders such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
  • The school is regularly confronted with children who struggle to follow the rules of class life and who are often punished by the teacher, which causes them a certain frustration.
  • Life among children is not always a long, calm river, as children are victims of harassment or intimidation on the playgrounds cutting off any desire to return to school.
  • It should not be forgotten that the expectations of adults are sometimes too high in relation to the child. The latter feels incapable of succeeding to the extent that the parents want him to have averages that are far too ambitious for him.
  • Finally, of course, there is what is called “anxious school refusal or school phobia”. In this case, the child suffers from real anxiety at the idea of ​​going to school, even if they are good students. Although poorly identified, we know that this is a psychological pathology that particularly affects 3 to 5% of students. School phobia represents 5 to 7% of consultations in child psychiatry, Nicole Catheline and Jean-Marc Raynaud indicate in the book School phobias today.

What can I say to my child who doesn’t like school?

Before you say, listen!” says our parenting coach. She then suggests that parents practice what she calls listen emphatically, that helps to free the child’s voice and find solutions at his side. since parents, you must welcome his emotions without judgment. From then on, you can communicate with your child by encouraging him and showing him that you have his full confidence. Above all, it is necessary to specify that failure is not an end in itself and that mistakes are part of the road to success. “Give the example of the Tatin sisters who thought they missed their cake to finally make a super cake!” specifies the parent coach.

But school is an opportunity, isn’t it? Because Yes, access to education is not the same everywhere in the world and this is also what you can insist on to re-motivate the child according to our specialist. “There are children elsewhere who go to school in extreme and precarious conditions. In France we are lucky to have a free school open to everyoneMarie Costa testifies.

You can use a positive homework routine also by making this moment enjoyable by using alternatives such as a bowl of hot chocolate before the session, a massage, relaxation, etc.

With regard to toddlers, Marie Costa advises parents to: read short stories about kindergarten to prepare them for the school environment, who to turn to if they have a problem. “It’s important for toddlers to imagine the space they will develop in,” explains our expert.

And if my child has learning difficulties: what should I do?

In France, almost 20% children have learning difficulties. Among them are the specific learning disabilities that affects about 5 to 6% of children, or one child per class, according to a study by the Ministry of Health. Faced with this phenomenon, making a medical appointment is the first response to adopt to know if he can see and hear well. With regard to dys- and motor disorders, it is necessary to conduct a speech therapy assessment and see a psychomotor. Attention disorders require the consultation of a neuropsychologist.

After the diagnosis has been made, the parents can request an appointment with the pedagogical team to explain the child’s condition, followed by an application for a PAP (Personal Guidance Plan). The latter enables students with persistent academic difficulties to undergo pedagogical adjustments. If, despite the arrangements made, the child’s problems persist, the parents can submit a file to the MDPH requesting other additional aid such as a computer (if the child is dysgraphic) or a AESH (Guiding students with disabilities) as daily support in the classroom.

My Child Doesn’t Like School: Behaviors to Avoid

at the child, hate school can be a sign of discomfort. Therefore, it is preferable to eliminate certain behaviors with the risk of aggravating the situation and preventing it from bouncing back. Say goodbye to little curious expressions like “you have to go, that’s how it is”, “you have to, you have to, otherwise you will achieve nothing”. Also avoid formulations which would reflect a negative image of school such as “oh but when I was little I never liked school, it was complicated too”. “It’s essential to make sure we don’t pass on our fears,” said Marie Costa.

“If you go to school, we go to the amusement park”. Many parents use reward blackmail to get their children to complete a demanding task. For our expert, this is a counterproductive method because they “do not move for themselves, but to please the parent, not to disappoint, to have rewards and above all to have the peace of mind!” . “Here we have a process humiliating for the child, which leads to the fact that he cannot do it alone without a “carrot”, she concludes.

For more information on Marie Costa’s work, see her book:

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